Thanks to Thibault and Eloi from Matale Chocolate, I was lucky to sample 2 of the chocolate bars they produce from beans to bars: The 68% dark Somia plantation with beans from Madagascar and the 72% dark Malekula plantation with beans from Vanuatu.
Both were absolutely delicious and I was pleasantly surprised by their intensity and the striking difference of flavour arising from the beans. The 68% Dark Somia plantation was indeed citrusy, and to me, stronger than the 72% Dark Malekula Plantation.
I managed to share the love and as such, shared my chocolate with some friends and colleagues, and we unanimously preferred the Malekula Plantation as that chocolate bar had a subtle coffee after taste and delivered, the promised tannins. The beautiful thing about Matale Chocolate is the fact that the chocolate bars they produce is not one average chocolate bar. Thibault and Eloi produce them from A to Z, in other words, from Beans to Bar. They source small batches of cocoa directly from co-ops for sustainability purpose have them fermented and dried by the farmers, and transport them to their kitchen in Melbourne. They roast, crack and winnow the beans in small batches and cocoa beans are placed in a stone grinder with raw sugar for up to 72 hours to get rid of unwanted acidity. Tempering is the final step that gives a shiny finish to the chocolate.
Thanks to Matale Chocolate – also known as Monsieur Truffe – I learnt heaps about the beans to bar movement, how much involvement, passion and dedication it takes to source quality beans from organic farms. I’m lucky enough to have “Bottega del Vino” steps away from home (Potts Point, NSW) who stock Matale Chocolate bars, but ordering online is also possible from their website. (except in Victoria).